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Thursday, May 28, 2009

over at erotic muses

Jayelle wrote about sex slang yesterday. I wrote about it today.

In other news, it's still cold and rainy so I think I'll work on that historical based in England since we're currently operating under the right climate conditions. Then I can call the weather inspirational instead of depressing

oh. shit.

I just blogged about the weather. All is lost. Attention all Rats: abandon ship. This blog is going down for the third time, circling the drain . . .for now, at any rate.




Tuesday, May 26, 2009

as alex sez, cultural deafness

My father liked to tell the story of going to a roadhouse dive sort of a bar way back when. Some guy was playing guitar and singing and my father thought, Wow, that guy's lousy. He'll never make it to the big time.

The singer? Elvis Presley.

When I was a wee tot (okay, late teens) I heard some guys in Harvard Square doing this really stupid style of singing. Only it wasn't singing. It was a kind of chanting. I asked the person next to me what was that all about? He said that's rap music. I said, Wow, that stuff will never last. It's not even really music.

So now I have 3 kids of my own and as I was driving one of them somewhere told him this story.

We wondered if they all have the uncanny ability to pinpoint a musical trend as totally not-going-anywhere and be so totally wrong? And for all our sakes, I can only hope he--or they--sneers at something we won't mind hearing forever.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

give me strength

to stop buying and reading brockmanns.

They're like appletinis which I think tastes like floor cleaner but drink when they're put in front of me. Although I actually like the last one I gulped down--It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. I liked the hero and the heroine. That one was more like a lemon drop. Or maybe the slice of granny smith some bars put on the side of the appletinis.

It's 9 am and I want a drink. My decaf coffee (sigh) will have to do.

Friday, May 22, 2009

types of books

I swore I wasn't going to write any more Jumping-on-Bandwagon books. I'd just go for what I wanted to write and figure out a way to sell it.

So how do we explain the m/m WIP currently on my computer? It's all someone else's fault, of course. And now I want to write that instead of the alleged book of my interest which is mired in plot-less mud. *Shaking fist.*

Speaking of books 'o the heart, I've discovered that every female of a certain age (over 35, say) has at least Breaking-Free-of-My-Life book inside her. I started mine a while back and it petered out even though Nan really likes it.

In these books the main character walks away from her kids and husband or maybe they walk away from her (War Between the Tates. Remember that one? Old, old,old)
I wonder what the male version of the Breaking Free book is. I'll bet it's more Walter Mitty-esque. Instead of a quiet break from his path, the main character's family gets blown up and so he then gets to blow things up.

Ann Tyler's Earthly Possessions or Ladder of Years vs. any given thriller.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a three rejection day

No seriously, I think this is a new record. Three in one day. All three editors clearly took the time to read and remark, and that's nice. And also I've decided that there are worse things than rejections...

silence.

God, how I hate silence (see about a thousand rants in the past) because with total silence it's as if you don't even exist in the editors' eyes. You're not worthy of notice in any way shape or form.

So yeah.

At least one of the rejections is about 6 months overdue and I'd decided I was getting the silence response. That mean getting that gee, like your voice, don't think this works for me note is actually an upbeat event. I'm sorta depressed but at least I exist.

Monday, May 18, 2009

SBD Bron was right

Sometimes those small romances hit just right. Bedded for Diamonds (and what a dumb title that is) was great ... for me anyway. I loved the way the dark dangerous secrets and life of the hero was more of a PITA for the heroine, not the pure aphrodisiac it so often is. She knew exactly what sort of difficulties she'd be facing. Because she seemed able to handle it and he seemed willing to change I can really imagine these two staying and growing together and what's more, I actually cared.

I wasn't convinced at the start. Things like the heroine's heavy-duty ditz factor bugged me. (Partly because I have an anti-astrology thing. Sorry, Linda.) But by the end I appreciated her as a likeable and competent person. The first time I saw the hero's sidekick, the cockatoo, I rolled my eyes but then I was charmed by the bird. Yeah, by the end, I loved 'em all. I especially appreciated the dark moment. Her response to her own injury was "so what? You take risks you get hurt" While he had a lovely male "get me out of here--this is too intense" reaction. Not quite realistic but a whole lot more real than the usual romancelandia stuff.

I sure did like this book. Thanks, Bron

Friday, May 15, 2009

Curb Day!

are you going to do curb day tomorrow? We should drag most of this stuff out of the house but I'm fairly sure we'd just have to drag it all back in again. Last week we dumped the one exercise machine that works.

I recommend curbside shopping. It's where we got most of our furniture and some of it is honestly not too horrible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Having The Hair


here's the ad, or a version of it. I think I probably will regret not going with Doug's offer of his Hairy Leg Man shot. If I could pretend to be Erin O'Brien I'd probably steal the original of that pose.


Good thing I don't have to reveal the fact that I was a RT finalist Five Freaking YEARS ago. Holy Jesus, time is a fast-moving bitch.


I'm buying an ad in RT

I'm part of a group ad in September. I know, I know. Stupid for an ebook and except for my first book which got a TOP CHOICE WOOT YOU ROCK KATE! review, I've gotten mostly 3 stars and "meh"

What's worse I have to supply a picture because I don't have a cover yet. So I'm going through my picture files for one. Hmmm.

Popular substitutes for covers are pictures of the writer.

here's one.




But actually? I like other author pictures better. I wonder if Amie Stuart would mind if I plopped her face in that place.



Too bad it's not a world-building paranormal book. This might
work.






It's the first book I really did dedicate to Mike so maybe a picture of him.



Eh, I'll probably just go for this four-year-old touched up glam picture of me. Sure I'll look like an egomanical Author. Works for me.

Thursday

I'm over at erotic muses not being erotic. Also in unerotic news: it's spend a lotta money day here. I got to go buy 2 boys 2 new mattresses plus a new exhaust for the minivan.

And Beth is right. This ad is the unintentionally freaking weirdest best thing ever. I couldn't watch the whole thing because it made my head hurt but you better watch because it's going to be a cultural phenom, I'm sure. And when people start posting "it's good for whites! it's good for blacks!" you want to know what they're talking about.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hey this spring thing works for me

Yup. Green and whatnot. Worth living through a New England winter to get this.
It's almost enough to make me go outside and.........naw.

And now the final line edits on the book out in July. This one's a novella, in first person, with no sex and no chance of making it into print. In other words, if I sell a hundred copies I'll be delighted.


Monday, May 11, 2009

what I wish I could say to my mother

I never understood those newspaper notes to someone who's dead. But I'm in the mood. I miss you.

Short note: I love you.

and slightly longer version since I got you in my head, Mom: Yeah, I meant it every time I said you drive me nuts, but let's not bother about that now. I love you and I hope I told you that I liked you too. You were funny as hell and I miss your Sunday calls. And all those times I hinted about needing money and complained about stuff. Let's just pretend those conversations didn't happen. I'm really fine and I hope--despite the fact that neither of us believe in life after death--you are too.

I know all that depression you dealt with was chemical. And speaking of rotten chemicals, those last ten years, you had as much dignity as anyone with dementia could muster. Pretty amazing that the last words I remember you speaking was the day we called Margaret and you said I love you...months after I'd heard you speak another word. That shows something, right? An ability to love? More than just an echo because you'd been silent so long so you had to be making an effort. Pretty good for a veggie.

So anyway. No more chemicals, no more depression or dementia or doubts, right? Even if you're as gone as if you'd never existed, that's a form of peace and that's good.

Did I mention I love you?

As my pal Catty says, hug 'em while you got 'em.


what I want and don't want SBD

What I want right now is a Mrs. Pargeter mystery by Simon Brett, but the man seems to have stopped writing them. Fethering is fine, but I adore Mrs. P.

A previously undiscovered Austen manuscript would be nice.

Another Terry Pratchett would be just fine.

Got anything sort of fluffy to recommend? Romance, mystery, fantasy, plain old fiction is fine. I'm done with thrillers and women's fiction at the moment. No group of friends coping with divorce, infertility, ticking biological clocks, cancer or adulterous husbands no matter how wry or heartwarming the POV. Also three generations of women? Not at the moment, thank you.

Maybe I'll go browsing through gutenberg.org for some more obscure 19th century melodramas. The Jack London one about the fighter was okay. Anything by Helen Beecher Long has odious writing--she's the female Horatio Alger when it comes to writing ability or subtlety (ie none of either). Still, gotta love the glimpse of another world's sensibilities.

A bunch of the books I read as a kid came from that time. Five Little Peppers series, Nobody's Boy, Nobody's Girl, all those Louisa May Alcott books, Frances Hodgson Burnett (the first book I sat and read way past was Little Princess) All of a Kind Family (which in this bookshelf of drealy writing, I think might have been pretty good. I might still love those books)

What a bunch of moralizing texts. Makes me wonder if my kids are missing out because no way in the world would I insist they read that pap. My parents didn't insist, ever. I was just drawn to crap. My aunt had a huge collection of Horatio Alger and I read every single one of them. When I was a kid I'd read A N Y T H I N G. Come to think of it, I still do.

The text I'm using most often from gutenberg is this one. That's mostly for the book I'm writing with Bonnie Dee. I'm pretty stoked about getting to work with her, in case you were wondering. It's a great time, even if she keeps putting in really awful jokes.

I'm also slowly slogging through my Nellie Bly book. Absolutely no sex in that thing and not even any tension which means, oh boy, another unsellable historical romance from me. That makes.....a bunch

Just to keep up with the two books eras, I'm also rererereading bits of this book. Amazing how facts are like rubber now that the little grey cells smoothing out. Not sticking worth a damn.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

I wish I could post my mother's day slide show from Alex. It's the business. Kid is so funny I could just squeeeeeeeeeeze him until his innards came out.

I think we'll forgo my usual mother's day tradition (everyone cleans the house without complaining or whining--no, I mean it. Not a word of complaint) to go see Star Trek and eat Indian food thanks to Kelsey's family.

I keep reading books with a group of women who've been friends since college and who go out drinking every week. Does anyone really get to do that any more? Live in the same town as the people they loved when they were young and stay connected with them? I'm jealous in a big way.

I need to read a book about a reclusive curmudgeon who finds relative contentment on the computer.

Also in my reading plans: No. More. Brockmann....because I think I've read nearly all of them. I'm over people who talk about their relationships when the bad guys are shooting at them. Although I suppose reading about people who say "shit shit shit oh damn! Damn!Shit!" is less interesting than, "why haven't you ever admitted you love me?"

And don't tell me it's a female writer thing (like someone was kvetching about somewhere on Amazon) Pick up that latest Spenser book.

And now, for mother's day, I promise myself and both my readers no more whinging.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

get back to work

Instead of writing this morning, I watched Theory of Flight. What did I think of it?

No really, I wish you'd tell me because I don't know. I looked at reviews to see if I agreed with them. They're a mixed bag, although we all agree on one thing--we sort of admire Bonham Carter's acting as a woman trapped in a wheelchair, even as we think the performance has too obviously got oscar stamped all over it. (I should look to see if it did get anything. I'd never heard of the movie. Despite the big names, it feels like a small sort of a movie which I usually love to bits. Teeny tiny bits.)

I resented the feel-good attempt to inspire at the end. Other than that, I didn't have strong feelings except I wanted to know wtf the hero was supposed to do with himself after the heroine pops off. I think the Bonham Carter character's feisty pursuit of life until she was 6' under was supposed to wake him up, but to what?

No, this depressive response isn't just brought to you by days of rain and a couple more rejections. It's the movie's fault too. I couldn't gauge its mood--were we supposed to care about these people? laugh at his efforts to recreate flight?--and then, when I figured out I was supposed to be moved by it, it was done. I think they edited out too much back story or maybe didn't put in enough front story. Or something. Maybe I'm too used to having story spoonfed to me.


UPDATE: When I looked up reviews I found this one and now I want to see Dance Me To My Song. Have you?

Monday, May 04, 2009

9:30 a.m. tomorrow in the music section

of the Farmington Borders. I'll bring some paper and pens so you can come write even if you don't have a laptop.

http://www.meetup.com/Getting-the-book-done


BICHOK, dudes.

SBD--grouchy version

actually it's the "Roll My Eyes at Three Famous Writers" version.

1. I picked up a 1992 Sandra Brown book--the first of hers I've read. Oh, heavens. It stank. The hero was abusive (not to mention entirely unprofessional), the heroine put up with his behavior which was enough to make her = loser. Brown's got be better now--a lot of her fans gave that book a HUH??? --so maybe I'll try again with another later book. I couldn't finish it, even though I'm mildly curious about the mystery plot..

2. I keep reading Brockmann books even though I don't want to. She's addictive like the cheesy puffs.

3. And then there is the latest Robert Parker book. During a huge nor'easter Susan and Spenser are trapped in a barn on a private island, right after a double homicide, waiting for the murderers' next move.....and they go into Talking About Their Relationship mode and about how wonderful Spenser and his strange set of morals are. I didn't throw it across the room but only because I was listening to it on an MP3 player. Why? Why?

Yes, I finished that book. I always read Spenser books. Why? Why? ... It's like eating wasabi. You know it'll burn but you see that green stuff and don't stop yourself.

It's not that I only hate famous people's books, I only mention them by name because they're successful and so I can pretend only their secretaries' secretaries do the google for their names. Otherwise I'd be all coy or use initials. I figure any midlist or below author probably don't need to find whining when they google their name.

In truth I'm hating everything I'm reading. If I were at all funny, I'd try for a mrs. giggles column. I'm that bitter about the books lately.

One last snarly-girl reader rant: what is it with the word boast in descriptions of a room or house? As in "the door boasted a stained glass window" or "the house boasts great views from every window."

The sort of language comes straight from all the damn articles I used to write from the real estate section of the old magazine. It shouldn't be seen in a book unless a smarmy real estate agent's talking. Oh God, I got exposed to so much of that straining for verbs, I break out into an instant hives when I see it--never mind that I wrote much of it. Just because people put the dangerous drugs into their own systems doesn't mean their bodies are going to accept it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

bid on me....or not.

Don't let me go for two dollars. Oh, the shame of it if no one bids on me for a crit. I don't want to end up against the wall while everyone's dancing. I'll be staring at the potted palm pretending not to care that one one's looking my way.

Naw...Seriously, you know what? The life of a wall-flower is okay.

I've learning to let go again--about the umpteenth time I've had to in this life. (We all have to do this, usually more than once, so I'm not feeling special.) The idea isn't to take on the "Fuck 'Em if They Can't Take a Joke" attitude which seems unnecessarily hostile, not to mention still about the attention-seeking part of our natures. More like "Jokes Are Funny Even When You're the Only One Listening"

And potted palms are really very interesting plants. Monocots.

* * *

This sort of attempting to find dignity in small matters reminds me about the Dead Like Me glom. Did I mention my current favorite fictional character is Dolores "her big brown eyes" Herbig? She's a familiar stereotype and, thank god, she remains eye-rollingly dopey and cringe-worthy through the show, but she is too wonderful. I grew to love her. I'm glad they decided to make her more than a joke. Actually, I miss her and plan to lead my life according to WWDHD ...um. To a degree.

* * *

My middle son is destroying my life.

He showed me tvtropes.org which is sucking hours from my life. Damn, it's fun. Mooks = villianous forms of red shirts.

* * *

UPDATE This whole no, I don't feel sorry for myself and what do you mean this is a dark room? unintentionally semi-martyr attitude is going to be ruined if my crit actually goes for real money in this auction or you people buy my books. Then what'll I do? Find something new to whine about and/or cope with? Sure!

I promise it won't be swine flu.